What do I remember in this almost 30 year old photo of my first-born son and his two oldest cousins?kidz

I remember the outfit little Zach was wearing. It was one his mom had chosen for him–without the picture, I wouldn’t have recalled the details, but the photo brings it all back into clear focus–the cap, the striped shirt, the little shoes. He was a cute little character in that get-up.

And his cute little cousins–Wow, they were still girls! Now they have grown or almost-grown children of their own, children as old or older than they were in this photo.

And there’s more in that picture than the young-then-now-grown-mature. There are memories of family departed. The tomato plants, those were PaPaw’s (my Daddy’s). He was vain about his potted tomatoes. And in the background I can make out the rear half of Daddy’s Ford van parked in the driveway. When he and Mama got the van new, they used it for vacation road trips. In its later years, probably the time we see here, it became Daddy’s carpenter work vehicle. If I could climb into the picture and open the back door of that van, I can imagine from front seat to back would be an unruly and tangled pile of carpenters tools, electrical and plumbing fixtures, maybe some 2 X 4’s or scrap panels of plywood, and even a ladder or two. I always wondered how he ever found anything in the chaos and clutter of the rear sections of the vans and station wagons he used over the years as his work vehicles.

And so we were. Maybe 30 years from now our kids will look at pictures from our present generation and remember the way they were now …. or the way they are then? Whatever. These old photos remind me that life is a divine cycle, that family is a divine plan, that what goes around comes around, and that the ways we are now will become the ways we were then.

How should that understanding of the future inform our present? Alas, the answer to that question could be the topic for a later post.